British guitar player Rick Parfitt died December 24 in Marbella, Spain as the result of a severe infection at the age of 68. He had been admitted to the hospital on Thursday (December 22) with complications from a shoulder injury that he sustained in a fall.
Over the years, Parfitt has had his share of medical issues including quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1997, throat cancer in 2005, and a heart attack in 2011 and a second heart attack last June.
Parfitt is best known as the songwriter and guitar player for the band Status Quo with Francis Rossi.
Parfitt had planned to launch his solo career in the coming months after leaving Status Quo upon advice from his doctors.
He was born Richard John Parfitt on October 12, 1948 in Woking, Surrey, England. Parfitt began playing the guitar at age eleven and by 15 he was out performing in public for money – his first job was at the Sunshine Holiday Camp for £5 a week.
He met Rossi in 1965 and in 1967 Parfitt, Rossi, Alan Lancaster, John Coghlan and Roy Lynes formed Status Quo. The band earned their first hit single – “ Matchstick Men” in 1968. Parfitt wrote or co-wrote many of the band’s hit songs.
In 1985 Bob Geldoff rounded up some of the biggest names in music for a fund raising day long concert he called Live Aid; it was Status Quo who opened the show on the stage at Wembley Stadium in London.
After some five decades performing as a part of Status Quo, the band had achieved the mark of at least one album on the British music charts for 500 weeks – that’s a total of over nine years on the music chart! Status Quo have sold over 100 million albums around the world in their 50 year history.
Paritt, along with band mate Rossi, were presented with an OBE – Officer of the Order of British Empire – in 2010 for their services to British music.
He is survived by his third wife Lyndsay and children Tommy, Lily, Rick Jr, and Harry.
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